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English Ivy

Q: I am purchasing a home in New York. The entire half acre is covered by ivy. What is the quickest, most inexpensive way to remove this plant?

I also have concerns about using chemicals, since I have a dog, who will be playing in the infested areas.

A: I think you have a tough row to hoe. I would suggest renting a heavy-duty mower, or a brush hog.

It might take several passes over the area to get it chopped down, then you'll have to start cleaning it up. They have power-rakes, too, so you might look into this as a rental option.

But unless you kill the ivy entirely, it will probably regrow from the roots left in the ground. Here is where using an herbicide may do the trick. If you use glysophate, it'll kill the entire plant right down into the root system, but it doesn't go into the soil, so you have less worry about your dog later on. There are other products that work similarly, so check them out, too.

You can mow everything down first, clean it up, then treat the re-growth (while it has small leaves) to kill it off, then re-mow and clean up again after it's been killed off.

Or, you can treat it first, then mow and rake. You may have to treat more than once, too, so be prepared for this possibility.

In any event, it'll take some time and energy to get rid of the ivy entirely, and then you'll have a big bare area to deal with.

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Tom Mugridge

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